Image: Daily Kos
Last month, Berkeley Patients Group launched our $1 Million For Good initiative, supporting 10 nonprofits working to uplift our local community. Each month, BPG will drive funds and awareness to one of our nonprofit partners. In honor of November’s National Homelessness Awareness Month, we are raising funds, support, and supplies for Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS).
Homelessness in the Bay Area
Homelessness is a public welfare and health epidemic that we can reduce with comprehensive programs.
Today’s rising cost of living, highly competitive job market, and the opioid, fentanyl, and methamphetamine epidemics contribute to homelessness and can impact anyone.
In the Bay Area alone, homelessness has almost doubled from 2015 to today.
According to Point-In-Time counts, the Bay Area has the third-highest homelessness population, behind only New York City and Los Angeles, with nearly 28,200 people experiencing homelessness.
Many cities around the Bay Area offer to help residents in need. The city of San Francisco has helped nearly 2,000 people find homes in the last two years, but for every person who found a home, three others lost theirs.
Donating or volunteering are two ways we can combat the symptoms of homelessness, though we must also address the root causes of poverty to ensure more people are not impacted, and those who are will be uplifted from it.
Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency
During National Homelessness Awareness Month, BPG is partnering with Berkeley’s own Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), which helps homeless, sick, and disabled people achieve health and self-reliance while fighting against the root causes of poverty and homelessness.
BOSS was founded in 1971 by a group of volunteers from the Hillel Streetwork Project, who responded to the needs of individuals suffering from mental illnesses that were left without support due to California hospital closures. Volunteers provided outreach, crisis intervention, and benefits advocacy to the emerging homeless population.
Today, the organization serves all ages—from newborns to seniors—providing shelter, housing, mental health services, employment development, and other services free-of-charge to those in need.
BOSS also provides resources and services that combat mass-incarceration and community violence. In their grand efforts to end poverty, they provide solutions to bring love, hope, and support to families and individuals in need.
Berkeley Patients Group stands with BOSS in the war against poverty and homelessness. With your help, we can eliminate the homelessness epidemic once and for all.
Additional Resources at BPG
Helping Hands Program
Helping Hands is BPG’s needs‐based care program for our Berkeley members, proudly offered since we opened in 1999! Helping Hands patients are eligible to receive two eighths (7 grams) of cannabis flowers per week. Recipients may choose a combination of Indica, Sativa, or High‐CBD flowers.
Applications for the program open on November 20, 2019. To learn more and apply, visit myBPG.com/services/helping-hands.
Here in Berkeley, we are fortunate to have a variety of resources available to individuals needing assistance. We’ve compiled a list of local organizations that can support your health and overall well-being, many of which offer their services at little-to-no cost.
Please contact organizations directly for more information, including hours, fees, and eligibility. If you have questions or need help locating resources, please email us at helpinghands@myBPG.com.
How You Can Help
BOSS offers many volunteer opportunities for individuals interested in helping fight this epidemic hands on. Click here to learn how you can get involved!
Shop at Berkeley Patients Group in November to support BOSS and help end homelessness. BPG will collect supplies to donate to BOSS participants, and ensure those without homes may still enjoy a warm Thanksgiving meal and loving holiday season.
Sales from supporting brands like Bloom Farms, which donates one meal for every product sold, will benefit BOSS’s programs and participants.
If we all pitch in and lend a helping hand, we can put an end to this crisis.